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jross 01-31-2007 02:07 PM

Drain location off by 1/4"
The problem:
There is a 1/4" difference between the rough-in dimension of the shower receptor that I intend to install, and the existing drain pipe location.

The drain pipe is PVC, threaded into a cast iron P-trap. There is virtually no movement because of the cast iron fitting. Also, due to the existing setup, it would be rather costly to change the entire configuration to make up the difference.

I was not able to find any type of PVC offset combination that could be used to make up the 1/4" so I am considering either shimmying the studs to make up the difference or scrapping the receptor and installing a shower pan/tile instead.

The question
Has anyone experienced a similar situation and how did you deal with it?

Brik 01-31-2007 02:16 PM

Can you also replace the ptrap and pipe to the trap? If you could you will have more flexibility as to its location. Also, if you shim the studs that may be fine as well. I would not go to the trouble of a custom pan for 1/4".

jross 01-31-2007 02:46 PM

Thanks for the quick reply, Brik. My only concern with removing the P-Trap is how to remove it without upsetting and/or breaking other connections. Do you or anyone else know of any way to easily loosen these iron pipes and fittings from one another?

Ron The Plumber 01-31-2007 04:57 PM

Cut the old trap off and replace with a plastic one.

jross 01-31-2007 06:24 PM

Thank you, Ron. However, I am a DIYand don't have the tools to cut into cast iron and I am also concerned about upsetting other connections. As a plumber, you must know how difficult cast iron is to cut and yet how easily it can break where you don't want it to break.

I am on this site looking for recommendations per my stated problem and concerns, and hoped for responses within those parameters. If you or anyone can suggest a way of loosening up the P-trap so that I can unscrew it as Brik recommended or any other ideas, I would appreciate your input.

Ron The Plumber 01-31-2007 06:30 PM

Use a sawsall, with a good blade, take it slow and you should have no problem cutting off the old trap, there is no unscrewing cast iron pipe.

jross 01-31-2007 07:49 PM

Ron, I admit being misled as I originally thought the same thing until someone in the plumbing trade told me that cast iron could be threaded.

Do you have any idea what type of pipe I am dealing with? The P-trap and all of the fittings along the line are casted and made of very heavy metal, therefore, I assume that they are cast iron. However, all of the pipe in between the fittings reveal threads. I do not see any sign of poured lead in any of the fittings eaither, although the original drain had lead.

In any case I still don't feel that cutting the fitting will help me because the line has several other fittings connecting to it and close by. I would probably have to cut the whole line and I don't even think I could access all of it. I would like to hear your take on what type of pipe you believe I am dealing with so that I could figure out how to remove it. Thanks.

MinConst 01-31-2007 08:18 PM

Can you take a picture of the area? Pipes and such?

Brik 01-31-2007 08:32 PM

If its threaded its either brass or galvanized steel. Cast iron is often used in main waste stacks. That's what has people cofuzzled.

You just use a pair of pipe wrenches to take it apart. You may even be able to tighten or loosen a joint just enough to get the alignment you need w/o taking everything apart. If you do that monitor closely for leaks though. Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty.

jproffer 01-31-2007 08:40 PM

I'm not a pro, but I'm with Ron...a sawzall and a Fernco and your in business. They make blades just for cast iron, or any metal cutting blade will make one cut, no problem.

jross 01-31-2007 09:01 PM

Here are two pictures (if I uploaded them correctly)

The flash makes them appear a lighter color than they really are. Maybe they are galvanized.

jproffer 01-31-2007 09:13 PM

You didn't....manage attachments - browse - upload. If they're too big they won't upload correctly. Allowed size of BMP's is less (considerably) than JPG's, try for a JPG (not JPEG...this is allowed less too for some reason) file if possible.

jross 01-31-2007 09:48 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Sorry about that. Have adjusted and uploaded three pictures. The drain pipe and P-trap is shown close up in the first picture, and the same P-trap is indicated by an arrow in the next two pictures.

jproffer 01-31-2007 10:32 PM

That's galvanized. What's below that? I see the top of a wye, I assume below is a single pipe? Where does the other side of the wye go to? If not far, I'd cut it all out below the wye and Fernco in PVC and rerun everything as far as you can in PVC...if you can't get all the way upstream just Fernco back to the galv. when you've reached the limit of what you can do....but then I don't like galv because it rusts inside and slowly closes off until you suddenly have a problem one day(personal experience) maybe I'm biased. If nothing else, cut it just above the wye (actually just below the next fitting...the pipe that will be left is plenty for a Fernco)and rerun everything, shouldn't be too difficult.

EDIT: Didn't see that tee, but even that shouldn't be too bad. Same deal. Cut it somewhere that will leave a stub of pipe and fernco it back on.

jproffer 01-31-2007 10:37 PM

BTW, if you're totally against this, take a pic from the bottom looking up, so we can see how everything is oriented and where the trap is (and where you want it). With all those fittings, there's a way to move it 1/4", you just have to find the right fitting(s) and tweak it(them).

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